THIS IS THE STORY OF JOHN HANICK STATIONED MOST OF THE TIME AT EAST CAMP KOBE
I WAS 19 YEARS OLD AND IN THE MILITARY US.. ARMY DURING THE OCCUPATION OF JAPAN BACK IN JAN. 1950 TO JAN. 1953. I LANDED AT THE PORT OF YOKOHAMA FOR 1 MONTH.
THEN TRANSFERRED TO SENDAI, JAPAN FOR 3 MONTHS.
THEN I WAS SENT TO ETA-JIMA FOR 4 MONTHS TO TAKE UP SOME SCHOOL COURSES. I TOOK UP 4 MAJOR SUBJECTS ENGLISH, CORRESPONDENCES, ADMINISTRATION, & TYPING CLASS. AT THE JAPANESE NAVAL BASE AT ETA-JIMA.
WHEN I LEFT YOUR BEAUTIFUL TOWN I REALLY MISSED IT. I ENDED GOING TO HYOGO, KOBE, JAPAN. LIVED IN KOBE FOR 2 HALF YEARS OFF POST AT THE BASE OF MT. ROKKO KNOWN AS ROKKO MICHI I RENTED A HOUSE FOR 35.00 DOLLARS US. DOLLARS A MONTH [TWO STORIES] USED SANOMIYIA TRAIN STATION MOTO-MACHI STATION TO GO SIGHT SEEING DOWN TO HYOGO, TAGATORI, SHIOYA, SUMA, AND AKASHI CASTLE. ALSO VISITED THE ALL GIRLS OPERA OUTSIDE OF OSAKA..
REALLY ENJOYED THE JAPANESE PEOPLE AND THEIR CUSTOMS. HATED TO LEAVE JAPAN IN 1953 JAN. I AM NOW 74 YEARS OLD. I WORKED IN KOBE 8 HOURS A DAY AT PIER 1 HALF IN A WAREHOUSE QUARTERMASTER COMPANY.
East Camp 8031st A.U. Quartermaster Det. Composite Service Company
IT DOES NOT SEEM TO ME THAT I LEFT KOBE 55 YEARS AGO. I TAUGHT A LOT
OF MY FAMILY GRANDCHILDREN AND FRIENDS ALL THE JAPANESE I COULD SPEAK ALL THESE YEARS.
I was in the military US ARMY based in Kobe for three 3 yrs. I was only 18 to 21 yrs old then. I fell in love with country and the people and customs. I took the cable car up to the top of Mt. Rokko many times Saw the Golf course that was on top there. Used the train stations a lot to go sightseeing, Sannomyia station, Motomachi Station, Tagatori, Hyogo, Kobe, Suma,
Shiyoia, Suma, and Akashi. Did a lot of swimming in Japan Sea. I lived off my
post which was know as Kobe East Camp also they had a West Camp in Kobe.
East Camp was only about a 5 minutes walk to the train station Sannomyia. I lived
at the base of MT. Rokko address at that time #72 Nadacu Shogundori- 1 chome
Traveled from Sapporo to Osaka, Yokohama, Tokyo, Sendai, Nara,
Minamitanobi and also went to the Girls (all girls Opera) at Takarazuka
Opera. The spelling is a little off but I typed my best. I have many
pictures of Kobe all black and white. I speak a little Japanese to get
by on. I taught all my friends and family and grandchildren also my 3
Children Boy Ronald 49 yrs old Girl Karen 48 yrs old and Girl Jacqueline 44 yrs
old. We have 7 grand children and 3 new Great grand Children. Oldest grand
child is 27 yrs old She is the one that had our first Great Son. Her name is Tricia (Hanick Frontz)
I worked at Pier one and half in a Quartermaster Whse. Watched all the large ships
docking every day Tug boats pulling them. I went to school at ETA-JIMA the old Japanese Navy base. Took up English
correspondence, Administration and Typing Courses.
Climbed a high Mt. and reached the top after 3 hour climbing to see Hiroshima Nothing left standing but telephone posts and that famous Large dome building This was back in Feb. 1950
Almost went to the Korean War in July 1950 but my whole outfit went all but 50
guys. I was one of them that stayed in Kobe Thank God I am still here at 76 yrs old now.
On that cavalier Right Hand Drive made for mainland Japan by LORDSTOWN, OHIO
General Motors Complex By Autoworkers Local 1112 is a TOYOTA.
The Japanese weekly magazines could be dated in the 1940s to 1950s. They are all in
Japanese. I can make out some English letters on some of the pictures. Some
are ARZI HUKUMATE AZAD HIND. KEBANGSAAN BOEGIS MAKASSAR YO ATO HUTU ZYOKYU KOGAKKO INDONE MERDEKA DENGAN DESAHA Also Asahigraph-by Asahi Shimbun Publishing co. lt. Printed in Tokyo, Japan 30 Yen 1950 yr. Total pictures
about 1000 all. All taken by Japanese Reporters showing their side of
the 2nd WAR between USA. and Japan. As for the English speaking Mainichi
newspapers Have about 20 to 30 of them all dated 1940 to 1945 I could send
copy of front covers through the mail service for any one that is interest. ONLY Serious persons reply
Use this E Mail address If you want to BUY the old Japanese newspapers
from Warren, Ohio Hanicks@Hotmail.com My hometown newspaper is Warren
Chronicle Home Page I am a retired Auto Worker Who worked for 25 yrs at
LORDSTOWN General Motors Complex in Lordstown, Ohio Which is 8 miles
south of Warren RT. 45 tod Ave.. We make the J car Cavalier and Pontiac Sunfire
also we make the Right hand Drive Toyota Cavalier J car for Main land Japan.
I remember one Xmas in 1950 Dec. my Mother sent me some hardtack candy
.My Japanese Girl friend of 3 yrs. which I meet at a Roller Rink next to
the Dimaru Dept. Store where she worked in Kobe Wrapped up small amounts in
bags, and after Sitting up a 6 ft Xmas tree which the little kids never saw
before with all decorations on our 2nd floor of our rental house
We threw down from our second floor of house at base of Mt. Rokko
Candy, cookies, oranges, & apples to a crowd of 75 Children. The Police from
Police Box down the street had to handle crowd control for us. That was high
point in my life. We also passed around to Adults Sears Roebuck catalogs so
they could see some Western Style Cloths. Most were in Traditional Japanese
dress still, and still wore wooden clogs on their feet. [Geta]
We had the straw mats on the floor and had to take off our street shoes before
entering house. We had no toilet [Benjo] only a [Honey bucket] hole in the floor.
We heated the rooms with a charcoal burner with all the fumes inside.
I had to walk 1 mile every night with bath towels to a Public bath house to clean up.
The men and Women were separated only with a partition down to level of
top of water. You washed under a shower real good then went over to a large
pool with the water so hot you had to slide in slowly or you would burn
yourself and the other guys. The public bath cost 10 or 12 Yen at the time.
Japanese Yen to one American green back or[ $1.00] was 360 yens.
This was hard times for the Japanese People back in 1950.
Only a few could buy a camera. There was a large Black-market on the back
streets and alleys for American Cigarettes mostly Lucky Strikes because
of the large red circle on pack. Next came Chesterfields and then the
Menthol [Kools] came out. We would go to the PX [Post Exchange] with our ration
card to buy a carton and use some other guys card who did not smoke, get a
carton for $1.00 in Script money, because this is how we got paid in GI
script. Black-market would bring in 700 to 900 Yena carton. Cube sugar also got big prices along with Coffee and chocolate candies. You could double price on a pair of boots or shoes.
You could pick up a street girl for 1 American cigarette.
Of course leaving Camp, we had to go by the PRO station and pick up a PRO kit for our
use. This keep the boys from getting the clap. Now you could pick up a good girl,
that had a special ID from which she got inspected by the Japanese Police
once a month. There was a lot of places that was OFF LIMITS to Occupation
The Japanese Police could not carry a side arm until the Japanese Peace
Treaty was signed. Could not make a arrest, had to call the MP's for this. [Military Police]
Only had a few cars on roads and these were mostly military .The streets
were crowded with people walking them, and Rick-shaw boys, and Street
Cars. [denshaw]. No traffic lights only the Japanese cop standing on
his little box in center of intersection. China town in Kobe was special
place to visit with their [Pachinco Games]
Drank a lot of Asahi Beer and ate a lot of [Gohan] Rice with fish.
Most of the Streets were not paved yet. When it came time for a haircut
and I was in town, I would use a Japanese Barber. Saw a lot of Honey
bucket wagons leaving the camp Latrines [Benjos] and the men walking up the
planks to the top and pouring one bucket at a time, first one from the left
shoulder, then one from the right shoulder. They used Human waste on
their Farm Lands.
It all started in early Jan.. 1998, when she had to walk with a walker
because her both legs were getting weak, & she would walk around in the
house & just pass out flat on her face & belly. Though the next 6 mos.
she would pass out once a week to five times a week. Then it came down to
once a day to two or three times a day at end of 6 mos. I AM NOW A 24 HOUR CAREGIVER FOR MY BED RIDDEN WIFE WHO LOST HER LEFT LEG AND CAN NOT USE HER RIGHT LEG NOW. HER LEFT LEG WAS AMPUTATED ABOVE HER KNEE. [KONICHIWA] GOOD AFTERNOON AND [KONBANWA] GOOD EVENING FROM OUR HOMETOWN OF WARREN, OHIO
Each time I would call Jackie or Karen to rush over to help me put a blanket along side her and we would roll her over on to the blanket, pick her up & place her on the
couch. She would have full body tremors or seizures for about 2-3
minutes. If you happened to be holding her hand there was no way you could release
the grip. Her grip was just like a vice.
Went to heart Doc's to kidney doc's to family doc for a lot of out
Patient testing in Hospitals Finally after mos. they found out her main aorta to
the lower legs was totally block with plaque hard as a rock.
They could not replace it with plastic because she had too many belly
operations & many incisions.
She had so many of them inside her one time they had to explore & just
cut them loose from her vital organs, began to wrap around them. Too hard
to cut them out & remove. Went to second option & got the main left arm artery
tap in a plastic tube to take blood down between the fat & skin on left
side, across the belly, then taped into both leg artery's to feed blood.
she had a heart attack on operating table, almost died then.
Found out that there was a almost total blockage of two inches behind
the left knee.
That was another operation of about 5 hrs. Couldn't do both
at one time Went to room after recovery. She was not ready for another
operation the next day, second, third, or fourth day, because her vitals were really
bad or poor then. Would never pull though another one soon. In the meantime
the left foot got Gangrene & started up her left leg.
She had so much pain, they gave her Morphine drip for four  days. Had
to amputate left leg above the left knee. She has a perm. left stick leg,
but the right leg will not hold up her body weight for her to use a walker. She
is bedridden now & is a total lift for me to put her on bedside toilet.
I have been doing this for almost six yrs. now. I use a wheel chair to transport her
to Doctors & to hospitals for blood work [Blood panels tests] & blood
thinner test, because she is on Coumadin. She is also a CHF person & has been in
the Hospital for three  times with water in her lungs, almost died two
times. She also has full body seizures at times, but is on Meds for that
also. She is on Oxygen, & Morphine Caps. for her Phantom pains to the left
leg. Screen name on instant messenger AOL buddies is JohnHelen1
[the one on end]
HP www.Johnsan.homestead.com .